Ministry of Education

Is it Hekia or her officials who are deaf to concerns over funding for sign language?

Recently Hekia Parata announced a further $11m for NZ Sign Language over the next 4 years.

This is on top of $6m over four years previously announced in this years budget and existing funding.

In addition to around $1m this year that the MoE has re-prioritised into this same area.

Hekia’s announcement was interesting and illustrates that she has been taken for a ride by MoE officials and sector lobbyists.

In the most recent announcement, the press release says…

 “There are currently around 400 deaf children in New Zealand aged between 0 up to 5 years-old, and another 1400 aged between 5 and 18 years old.”

So reading this you think the money is for 1800 kids. $18m over four years for 1800 kids who probably have pretty high needs doesn’t seem too much. It’s about $2500 a year each.

But do these numbers really stack up?

The DomPost did a follow up article after a number of people questioned their cut and paste job of the minister’s press release.

It turns out that there are only 60-70 kids 0-18 who are reliant on sign language and another 200 who might use it regularly in support of their oral language.

Ministry of Education head of sector enablement and support Katrina Casey said the figures were made up of children with moderate to profound hearing loss and drawn from the Deafness Notification Database 2010-2013, as well as quarterly reports of the country’s two deaf education centres to June 2014.

She confirmed that of the 1800 deaf children, only 60 to 70 were identified as reliant on sign language to access the curriculum.

About another 200 students in deaf education centres used sign language regularly. Read more »

Non-disclosure by Thrupp, NZEI and media peddling story on National Standards

The NZ Herald is today running a story that National Standards are appalling because schools are focussing on Reading , Writing and Arithmetic instead of lame subjects like art, social studies and basket weaving.

The report is from Martin Thrupp an avowed opponent of National Standards.

Primary and intermediate school teachers are being overworked and some subjects are prioritised at the expense of others, says a study into National Standards.

The latest report from the Research, Analysis and Insight into National Standards (Rains) project is released today. It analysed how six schools from around the country fared with National Standards.

Waikato University professor Martin Thrupp, who led the study, said worrying trends had popped up in schools since the standards for reading, writing and mathematics were implemented in 2010.

Those subjects had become the focus for some schools who wanted to make sure its students were meeting national levels. This meant subjects such as art, history, social studies and other activities had been left behind.

One school had begun a series of uninterrupted sessions in literacy and numeracy from 9am-11am every day.  Read more »

And she was registered

Labour and the Teacher unions all tell us that registered teachers are the best, provide protection for the kids and that is why they oppose charter schools.

Yet every week there is another registered teacher before the courts of the Teachers’ Council for some crime or another.

The licensee of a preschool childcare centre who overstated funding claims, resulting in overpayment by the Ministry of Education, is facing restrictions on her ability to undertake school managerial positions.

A decision from the Teachers Disciplinary Tribunal said the woman was convicted in the district court in June 2012 on three related charges of taking, obtaining, or using a document for pecuniary advantage.  Read more »

PPTA bullying on Charter Schools

Th PPTA has extensive rules and policy papers about bullying in schools, and even on paper that talks about teachers being the new targets of bullies.

This paper refers to both bullying and harassment of teachers. The School Anti-Violence Toolkit, published by the union earlier this year, used the umbrella term “violence” to cover all forms of bullying and harassment, and preferred the term “harassment” when discussing behaviour directed at teachers by students. However, teachers themselves are increasingly using the term “bullying” to describe the targeted aggressive behaviour they experience from both students and adults in schools.

Which perfectly explains the PPTA’s own attitude towards charter schools.

Northland teachers have been banned by their union from any interaction with charter school staff, in a move a Whangarei charter school chief executive has described as “bully tactics”.

The Post-Primary Teachers Association has instructed members to deny charter school staff and management professional, sporting or cultural interactions or support.

Government-funded like state schools, charter schools are not operated by the Ministry of Education but by sponsors such as iwi, not-for-profit organisations, businesses or existing education providers.  Read more »

They will all be registered too

The Labour party and the teacher unions all vehemently oppose partnership schools. Their hatred is pathological and their arguments are irrational. Once of the arguments against Partnership schools is that there isn’t a requirement for all teacher to be registered.

Registration they say will protect the children. They say this despite a long line of registered teachers before the courts on all sorts of violence, sexual and dishonesty offences.

Then there is a Herald story which shows just how bad registered teachers really are:

A child bitten by her teacher, teachers smacking children and staff smoking near pupils were among almost 250 cases of abuse and neglect at early childhood education centres reported last year.

Information about the complaints to the Ministry of Education were released under the Official Information Act to child advocacy group ChildForum.

The group’s national director, Sarah Farquhar, called the results “horror stories” and raised concerns about how complaints were dealt with by the ministry. She felt there was a heavier focus on supporting early childhood education (ECE) services than complainants.  Read more »

Unemployed teachers – there is a solution

Might be a job at a partnership school?

Hundreds of teachers are out of work as graduates fight for vacancies which can attract as many as 100 applications each.

A new Ministry of Education report on teacher supply shows jobs remain hard to come by.

Aucklander Rebecca Young, 40, has been looking throughout the country for a primary school job since graduating in May last year. At least 40 of her graduating class were in the same position, she said.

“I get letters that say my CV is fantastic, but it is just the high volume of applicants. I got a letter the other day saying I was one of 100, so it has come down a little bit, from 140 or 150.”

Ms Young is now looking overseas after sending in more than 80 applications for primary school posts.

However, both the Government and an education school say the situation has improved, and further relief is on the horizon as population growth increases the need for teachers.  Read more »

Mike Hosking on National Standards

Mike Hosking discusses National Standards in his editorial.

I guess I have been lucky. National standards have been a non-event for me, well as a parent anyway. National standards though as a broadcaster have been a hotly debated, contentious concept that according to a report out from the Ministry of Education this week is wrong quite a bit of the time.

The teachers’ unions hate them, the claims over national standards from the unions have been many fold and none of it good. The detail is vague, it can be misinterpreted, teachers don’t like them, some schools held out against them, it leads to parents making comparisons with other schools which means that makes the education system competitive.

If all I knew about national standards was what I had heard on the radio and I had no kids and no teachers to talk to, I’d have come to the conclusion they were a risky, problematic concept riddled with issues that were leading the nation’s kids and schools down a slippery old slope. It is perhaps a good lesson as to why there is often more than one side to most stories.  Read more »

Bludgers want our money but no accountability

If Maori want continued government support best they start complying with the rules.

Maori language schools are prominent among those refusing to hand over national standards data to the Government – and critics fear at least one school is being punished for its stance.

A Ministry of Education report released under the Official Information Act shows almost half of schools given extra funding to teach in te reo have refused to report their pupils’ literacy and numeracy progress data.  Read more »

Oh what a surprise, study proves our world leading education system isn’t

The definition fs stupidity is doing the same thing over and over again for years on end and expecting different results. It turns out that despite the claims of the various teacher unions that New Zealand has a world leading education it actually doesn’t and that we have spent over $40 million over the past 10 years making no discernible achievement in reading results.

The proof, if any was ever needed, that teachers are actually stupid.

A Wellington primary school is bucking the country’s poor literacy trend after turning reading results on their head.

Titahi Bay School teachers knew something had to change when 60 per cent of its pupils were below the national standard in 2009.

In the space of four years, they have reversed those results to 70 per cent of pupils achieving the national standard level or above.

Massey University researchers published a report yesterday that said widening inequalities in literacy rates were a result of schools’ “fundamentally flawed” approach to reading.

Despite more than $40 million being spent on reading recovery programmes each year by the Ministry of Education, the gap between European and Maori pupils continued to grow, it said.  Read more »

That’s one way to avoid having to teach them

Teacher have hit on a new way to avoid having to teach the 20% that their self-claimed world’s best education system is failing…they are declaring them to be OSH hazards.

Students pose a professional hazard for teachers, with many admitting to feeling unsafe in the classroom at some point in their school career.

Almost half of secondary school teachers at low-decile schools have reported feeling unsafe in the classroom because of pupils’ bad behaviour, according to a survey of 1266 secondary school teachers.

The New Zealand Council for Educational Research’s recent report on the state of our schools showed 60 per cent of surveyed teachers have faced bad behaviour from pupils that has seriously disrupted their teaching.

Just one in five teachers in low-decile schools said their classroom experience was trouble-free.   Read more »